Why do we not pray?
Pray only when you are not yet able to realize what you want to do.
Do not pray when you are able to realize what you want to do.
The first vow is that you will do your best to bring peace to mankind, when you pray for a peaceful world.
The second and the third vows are for the nine generations, seven ancestors, and our parents who are still alive or deceased. If we have made the vows to sacrifice ourselves to serve the Dharma and devote ourselves to religious practice until the realization of the path, the first thing will be the salvation of the nine generations and seven ancestors. Furthermore, we will help our parents in their illnesses and misfortunes while they are still alive, and encourage them to devote themselves to practice the religion, and together we will serve the Dharma. Our children and siblings will follow our steps as well. Our deceased parents will all be delivered.
The fourth vow is to pray for all human beings to be compassionate, benevolent, and free from ignorance and delusion. We should share our love and compassion with everyone so that they will shift their minds to the awakening and deliverance.
The last vow is to implore the High-Above to forgive all of our sins, so that we can practice the Way to reach Enlightenment. When we sincerely pray for the last vow, the High-Above will test us. If throughout the learning process we can overcome the challenges of the spiritual and material life, we shall be gratified.
Once we have reached the Way and have a clear wisdom, then we shall realize our vows to serve as in the prayers made to the High-Above.
At this stage we do not pray anymore, but we must take action. When we put our vows into action, we will be completely supported by the High-Above in all aspects. The things that we do, though by ourselves, are always within the guidance and the support of the High-Above, the Prophet, and the Patriarch.
We are no longer alone as we may think, but the
divinities of eight cardinal directions and tenfold Buddhist realms always
support us in each ksana. All of our movements and actions are constantly
lucid. When wakefulness is constant, mundane cleverness will be present only to
maintain the balance in life; it will be completely non-influential. All the
troubles around us will not cause our minds to be troubled by the slightest
This is the result of religious practice at home according to the teachings of Hoa Hao Buddhism: the realization of the Way within the family’s life. The teachings of the Prophet emphasize that religious practice does not depend on external conditions, as we can practice under any circumstances or conditions. We do not need to go deep into the mountain or leave our family to practice the religion. This way of religious practice (Buddhism) at home will contribute greatly to the world’s peace, as mankind can maintain a balance between the spiritual and material life.
Those who practice the religion at home will be able to build the society, to serve the nation, and to contribute to the world’s peace.
(Excerpts from the “Vows of Hoa Hao Buddhism”)